After funding his college education as a cable TV installer, then going into cable sales, Kinney went into real estate full-time in 2005. His three listing agents each make at least 50 calls a day, bolstered by his ownership of more than 740 domain names and about 200 live Web sites. “Every deal we get, we have to work for it,” he says. The market downturn has been a boon: “Now that things are tough, people are willing to hear something new. What we have to offer is this aggressive technology-enhanced approach to selling properties.” The result: His sales were $21.5 million on 83 transactions in 2007, up from $6.5 million on 25 transactions in 2006.
POSITIVELY UNYIELDING: Kinney enforces a no-negatives rule in the office. Team members must leave if they’re grumpy, returning only with an upbeat attitude.
THE WOODS, THE WEB, AND THE WORLD: From age 3 to 14, Kinney lived in the woods between Bellingham, Wash., and Seattle with his dad, an expert fly fisherman guide, in a cabin without electricity. “A lot of people didn’t expect a whole lot out of me,” he says. Kinney now shares his Web marketing tips at real estate conferences nationwide.